I agree in the open holster idea.
Activism is not a part-time job, or a hobby. To be truly effective, activists needs to be ever-present, ever-engaged, and ever-ready to spread the message.
In states where OC is legal, opportunities for activism are easy. Our OC'd firearms are an ever-present reminder to us that we support the 2A, we support the human right of self defense, and we have taken up the awesome responsibility to be prepared and capable to ensure our own safety and security, and that of our loved ones, and even of our fellow man if need be. And this visible mode of carry piques the curiosity of like-minded people who don't know about OC, and often results in educational opportunities, and chances for us to hand out cards, fliers, or website addresses to the public.
OCing gives our beliefs and convictions a level of visibility that is undeniable--it lets the world know where we stand when it comes to our 2A rights, our love of family, our dedication to peace and security, and our Liberty-minded distaste for the politically-correct mindset of "voluntary victimhood". In OC-friendly areas, this mindset of self-reliance, liberty, and freedom is broadcast--oten before a single word is spoken--to all whom we may encounter in our daily lives.
But what about our like-minded brothers and sisters who live in states or cities that do not allow OC?
The glib answer to them is, if you believe in OC, and the Human Right Of Self Defense, you should relocate to a more freedom-loving, and liberty-affirmative area. But this is not always practical, and running away from a problem (although often a VERY effective way of preserving one's PERSONAL safety and liberty) does nothing to fix the problem in those "liberty intolerance zones" (LIZ's) like CA, MD, NY, or Chicago and DC.
I would suggest that rather than having large, occasional, organized "OC Rallies" just a few times a year--complete with press releases, news crews, and a stable of attendant lawyers, that we all consider these "LIZ's" to be in a perpetual state of "Open Holster Rally".
Every day in such a zone, should be "Empty Holster Day".
There are no laws against wearing an empty holster. I own several holsters for which I no longer have applicable firearms. So when an LEO inevitably asks me "where is your gun", I can honestly and lawfully answer "what gun?". This question is the classic "fishing expedition" question. They are looking for a reason to search your backback, briefcase, pat you down, search your vehicle, or even obtain a search warrant for your home. If you have no gun for that particular holster, then there is nothing to search for. Such a "perpetually empty holster" is TRULY a legitimate First Amendment expression--it has NO utility or purpose other than as an expression of your sentiments regarding the lack of 2A rights.
Trampling on 2A rights in locations that don't recognize them is easy (and lawful) for LEAs in such LIZ's. But trampling on someone's 1A rights is an entirely different matter. The 2A i still up for debate in the Federal Courts, and in many states. But the 1A and specifically Freedom of Expression is well-established as a Civil and Fundamental Human Right--especially in states and cities with overtly tyrannical policies and agendas.
They will be hard-pressed to stop--or even suppress--such individual expressions. They will be hard-pressed to avoid Federal Civil rights lawsuits for harrassing Empty Holster wearers. Perpetual, local, individual Empty Holster protests might just be one of the most potent tools in the Arsenal of Liberty in such LIZ's...
An Empty Holster also gives 2A activists (in such places where carry is limited or banned) a way to engage the public in a "non-threatening" and legal manner. An Empty Holster is an ice-breaker. It is an overt, undeniable statement on the helplessness of the average citizen. It gives us the opportunity to discuss the Civil Rights infringement of such areas with the public. It gives us protection under the 1A against LE harassment. It gives us the chance to hand out fliers, business cards, or just have a quiet, civil conversation with someone who is curious.
I think we will find that there are a LOT more people that we thought, living in LIZ's who are sympathetic to our cause if we openly, visually, and courteously provide the opportunity for engagement.
Let them come to us for answers. Let them come to us with questions. Le them identify themselves to us while we walk about our normal day-to-day routines. We may very well find that there are lot more of "us" hiding in the shadows than we believe.
And it will also give us a chance to let the radical "anti's" expose themselves (hopefully while we capture it on audio or video recordings) for the fear-mongering, deceitful, Liberty-Hating control freaks they are. It will give us the opportunity to let them demonstrate--publicly and without provocation--that what they REALLY fear isn't the gun, it's the FREEDOM that it represents that they really hate.
Because who--even among the most deceitful, leftist, anti-gun raving maniacs--would want to be exposed as hating the 1A?...
Every Day is Empty Holster Day in some places.
This is an HUGE opportunity that we are missing.
It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
--Barry Goldwater, 1964
I agree in the open holster idea.
illegal ≠ immoral legal ≠ moral
[SIZE=1]"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an[ addictionis the last degradation of a free and moral agent." - Thomas Jefferson
G19 Gen 4; Bersa Thunder 380; Sig Sauer P238; Kel-Tec su-16c
can you get into trouble if you have a chl and wear a empty holster
But once it is determined (via Terry Stop) that in fact all you are carrying is an empty holster, there is no further reason to detain you.
How your possession of a CHL fits into this is beyond me. Can someone posses a CHL but never actually go out and purchase a firearm? Sure! (Why they would want to boggles my mind for the most part, but there are folks that have their reasons - some good, some nefarious.)
If your wearing of an empty holster does not violate any laws/regulations concerning the behavior of someone discretely carrying in accordance with their CHL -- but then I'm back to my previous point again, aren't I?
Perhaps the only way you might get in trouble regarding your possession of a CHL while openly carrying an empty holster would be if you were, at the same time, discretely carrying in accordance with your CHL. In that case the cops might try to advance the presumption that you were switching back and forth between OC and CC. Even if you established that it was physically impossible for your discreetly-carried firearm to fit in the openly-carried empty holster I would advise against carrying discretelywhile OCing the empty holster if OC is prohibited in your AO.
If it was illegal to OC where I live, I'd do the empty holster tactic. As a matter of fact, I still can. I'll try it at the wretched places that enforce the "gun-ban zones"! As much as I don't like supporting those type of businesses, I'll be the thorn in their asses.
"What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms." -Thomas Jefferson
I will do this in restaurants and the movies.
I think I will start doing this while in Victim Disarmament Zones or when my wife asks that I don't carry.
Passive aggressive, I likey
I remember when I used to go trick-or-treating...and one year I had an empty holster for a .22 revolver, and an old man asked me if I was Barney Fife
Still a great idea though! I plan on ditching Illinois soon, but I can carry a holster while I'm here.
I OC my Silent Thunder, minus the PT1911AR, every day. Even thus, the only comments I've gotten so far are "What do you pack when you're packing?" Leading into a half-hour gun conversation.
Although, I was even more shocked to find Texas doesn't have Open Carry either.
empty holster in the car.....but outside of the car, unlicensed open carry. Now to work on that car thing............
I thought this was such a good idea, that I've been doing it at school. Two days a week I'm forced to be disarmed to, at, and from school. So far not many people have even noticed, so I had to get creative and mention firearms and their lack on campus during the mandatory "something interesting about you" discussions.
If this works out well, I may start wearing my holster to work. No rule against holsters, but I can't carry to, at, or from work either.
I am in the Army and we had a social function last Friday. We were off post in civilian clothes, but I was still considered "on duty". So to let people know how I feel I had my empty holster. Also I am a member of an all volunteer search and rescue unit that falls under the County Sherrifs office. They do not allow anybody to carry during missions, so in silent protest I OC my empty holster also. Actually I now use it to hold my folding Gerber knife, so I have at least something in it.
Last edited by golddigger14s; 08-26-2010 at 02:31 PM.
Dreamer, do you think that buying a "blue gun" and carrying it in my holster in places that i can't carry is a good idea?
when i got to places the sell and serve alcohol (in NC that is off limits to ALL guns) I always take my mag in with me and my chambered round, and set it on the table. (if someone breaks into my jeep i;d like it if they did not have a mag or ammo) it gets a ton of questions. I tell them about their carry right, and how i cant carry in there.
the mag and one round says a lot, I think a blue gun will say a lot more.
and btw, I always carry an empty holster and my mag pouch with mags. even if i cant carry my handgun.